On Monday 5 June 2023, Bury man Zahkier Hussain was ordered to pay £2,000 prosecution costs by Bolton Magistrates’ Court.
He was also sentenced to a 12-month community order which requires him to carry out 200-hours of unpaid work and pay a victim surcharge of £95. The sentence follows his guilty pleas on 24 April at Bolton Magistrates’ Court to numerous counts of fraud and forgery.
The prosecution followed a criminal investigation by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Zahkier Hussain submitted an application for an SIA door supervisor’s licence on 21 November 2021. The SIA rejected his application due to his previous criminality; the Private Security Industry Act 2001 allows for an individual to appeal against the SIA’s decision within 21 days and he took up this opportunity.
As part of Zahkier Hussain’s appeal he supplied two-character references. On 29 March 2022 he falsified a character reference from an individual with an address in Bolton which he submitted to the SIA. On 4 May 2022 he falsified another character reference from a second person and sent it to the SIA as part of his appeal. The addresses on both of the references were part of a claim that the people were neighbours of Zahkier Hussain and that they were former colleagues.
SIA investigators identified that the actual address was the same as that of Zahkier Hussain. Further investigations found that the second named person also lived at the same address as Zahkier Hussain. These facts were subsequently verified by Bury Council officials.
SIA investigators invited Zahkier Hussain to participate in an interview-under-caution, however despite receiving this request he failed to respond and did not engage with the SIA during its investigation. This gave the SIA little option but to prosecute Hussain.
Mark Chapman, one of the SIA’s Criminal Investigation Managers emphasises that the purpose of the SIA’s licensing regime is to keep people safe.
Zahkier Hussain deliberately sought to evade the rigorous verification processes that the SIA uses to assess whether someone is ‘fit and proper’ to be an SIA licence holder. Zahkier Hussain tried repeatedly to get a licence but failed due to his previous history. His guilty pleas to the counterfeiting and fraud offences and last Monday’s sentence and financial penalties reflects the seriousness of the charges brought. It is highly unlikely that he will be able to work in the UK’s private security industry in the future.